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Adventurous Spirit - Heather Hawkins

Adventurous Spirit

By: Heather Hawkins

Paperback | 23 August 2017

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Sometimes life takes us to places we never planned to go.

An incredible journey from an ordinary life to one of extraordinary adventure.


At 41 - with two teenagers and a contentedly unadventurous life - Heather Hawkins made a doctor's appointment. Diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer, within nine days she had surgery to remove an 18cm tumour, and a full hysterectomy. Instead of chemotherapy, she chose a non-invasive surveillance treatment.

The experience reignited Heather's adventurous and invincible spirit. At 47 she pulled on an old pair of shorts and runners and struggled to the end of a 4km mothers' day fun run with her kids. Five years later she has 17 marathons and 3 ultra marathons under her belt, including the North Pole Marathon and the extraordinary World Marathon Challenge - a gruelling seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. She topped that off by trekking 1700km in the thin air of Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail.

And she's only just getting started ...

About the Author

In 2007 Heather Hawkins was diagnosed with Stage One Ovarian Cancer. Surgery to remove the 18 cm tumour and perform a complete hysterectomy was performed nine days after diagnosis. Heather was spared extreme chemotherapy, instead choosing to follow a relatively new non-invasive surveillance treatment for post Stage One ovarian cancer surgery. Now, 10 years later, Heather is in remission.

Heather's journey though cancer ignited her hunger for physical challenges. After successfully completing her SLS Bronze Medal two years after diagnosis, Heather competed in her first running event, The Mothers' Day Classic. She was 47 years old and it was 2012. Now, just a few short years later she has now completed 6 x half marathons, 18 x full marathons and 3 x ultra marathons. These included the 2015 North Pole Marathon in which she won the women's division and was 8th across the finish line (beating 27 men), and then took on the incredible 2016 World Marathon Challenge, covering 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents.

In February 2016 Heather commenced the world's longest trek, the Great Himalaya Trail. A 152 day journey of 1,700kms, crossing the top of Nepal from East to West. Heather will return to Nepal in October 2107 to revisit the magnificent Himalayas raising funds for cancer research. This will be shortly followed by the Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert in Chile in November 2017.
Industry Reviews
"North Pole Marathon 2015 - ""To see Heather running up there in the horrific conditions, temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius, obviously that showed a strength and a determination and a ruggedness to keep on going"". - Robert De Castella"

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